Kenny Everett.

Wireless Kenny Everett

BBC Radio 2 documentary. 1 episode in 2010. Features Paul Gambaccini, Johnny Beerling, Angela Bond, David Wish, Steve Wright and Kenny Everett.

Wireless Kenny Everett

Paul Gambaccini presents a documentary about Kenny Everett's influential radio work

BBC Radio 2
Paul Gambaccini, Johnny Beerling, Angela Bond, David Wish, Steve Wright and Kenny Everett
Kevin Howlett

Paul Gambaccini presents this documentary about Kenny Everett's influential radio work. Kenny's first love was always "the wireless" because he knew the pictures would always be better...

This programme hears how and why Kenny fell under the spell of radio, his first approach to the Beeb, broadcasting on pirate Radio London, finding Where It's At on the Light Programme and the innovation - and trouble - he created at BBC Radio 1. There are comments from Kenny's early BBC champions Johnny Beerling and Angela Bond. His pirate and Capital Radio colleague Dave Cash also discusses Kenny's craft.

The creation of what Everett called "the fiddly bits" has had an enormous impact on generations of DJs. Kenny loved the technical side of radio and used phasing, stereo trickery, editing and sound effects to create his memorable jingles, Singalonga Beatles Tracks and audio competitions.

Inspired by Fifties radio adventure Journey Into Space, Kenny created his own sci-fi serial - "with smut, jokes and sound effects" - Captain Kremmen. His other characters included Chris P Bacon, Rock Salmon (Masked Accountant), his "Gran" and butler Crisp. This combination of humour with innovative production impressed BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright, who describes the impact of Kenny's shows.

Kenny's love of music was always at the forefront of his programmes. His shows bubbled with surprises: from the "tuney" bits of classical music to the awful but hilarious "Bottom Thirty" records suggested by his listeners for "The World's Worst Wireless Show".

Paul Gambaccini says: "Kenny Everett was the best of us. It was no surprise that the entire profession turned out for his funeral. All the radio stars of his time recognized his genius. Kenny was a master of both preparation and spontaneity. He had both wit and technical skill. He loved both music and comedy. He was the only one of us who used the studio instead of just tolerating it. He was a wonderful one-off, a great presenter and a fine friend."

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Friday 24th December 2010 on BBC Radio 2 at 7pm
Episode length
1 hour
Last repeat
Wednesday 4th January 2012 at 10:00pm